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How Do I Know if My Car Engine is Healthy?

How Do I Know if My Car Engine is Healthy?

Your vehicle's engine is like the heart of your car - it is the component that starts and runs your vehicle with the help of many other systems surrounding it. So when an issue occurs with the engine, your vehicle overall will have problems. This is one of the reasons why engine maintenance is so important to the overall operation of your car. A bad engine leads to major repairs and car trouble, which is why we know many car drivers often wonder how healthy their engine actually is.  If you have a high-mileage or older vehicle, thinking about the health of your engine is common. Many wonder if they've taken good enough care of the engine and whether or not they will need a major engine repair in their vehicle's lifetime. The key to saving money on engine repairs over time is catching issues early on, so paying attention to your vehicle's engine can go a long way. Here are some of the ways that you can better understand if your car's engine is healthy or not:&n ... read more

How to Prepare Your Vehicle for the Summer Months

How to Prepare Your Vehicle for the Summer Months

Summer is a wonderful time to take out our vehicles for some fun in the sun. Driving our cars in the warmer weather can begin take a toll on the health of our vehicles, especially when going on long drives and road trips. If you intend to keep your vehicle reliable this summer, be sure to have your vehicle inspected and prepared for the heat.  Here are some of the ways in which you can prepare your vehicle for the summer months:  Check that your car A/C is working properly. If it has been a while since your A/C has been checked, be sure to have it looked at by one of our expert mechanics here at Service First Automotive Centers. Getting stuck driving in the summer heat without a working A/C system can be unbearable.    Bring your vehicle into Service First Automotive Centers and have the cooling system inspected. The cooling system helps protect your engine from overheating, and this system needs to be in top working condition with fluids in good shape ... read more

What Does the Glow Plug Warning Light Mean?

What Does the Glow Plug Warning Light Mean?

The diesel engine is a complex system with different parts than the standard engine. Among those parts are the glow plugs, which are a heating device used to start up a diesel engine. They are usually activated when the temperature of the diesel engine is too low to start up. The glow plugs will raise the temperature inside the cylinders to help in pressurizing and detonating the diesel fuel. It should only take about 10 or so seconds for the glow plugs to do their job and get the engine going.  If the glow plug light is on, this just indicates that they have been activated to warm up the engine. However, if this light flashes, this means your vehicle has detected an issue with the glow plugs. Glow plugs do need to be replaced over time just due to normal wear and tear, so this could be an indication that a replacement is due.  However, an issue with the glow plugs could also be caused by surrounding components. For example, the issue could be with the timer. The timer is t ... read more

Tips for Staying Busy Amid COVID-19 Shelter in Place Orders

Tips for Staying Busy Amid COVID-19 Shelter in Place Orders

You've been ordered to stay home among the rapid spread of COVID-19 - it's hard, we know! However, shelter in place orders are extremely important considering the current state of our nation. These shelter in place orders are vital to preventing the virus from spreading faster and further, and can help you take control of your health during these uncertain times.  Although you may be stuck at home, more than likely with others (possibly kids), there are still a variety of things that you can do which will keep you productive while still abiding by CDC regulations. Most importantly, be sure that you are being proactive about washing your hands, keeping a 6 foot distance in public areas, sanitizing surfaces regularly, and avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands.  If you're struggling to stay busy and falling into a bit of a rut, we recommend trying one or more of the following ideas to get active and stay productive:  We know you pro ... read more

What is an Air Pump Replacement Service?

Before we talk about what exactly an air pump replacement service is, lets talk about what your car's air pump is and what job it has. The purpose of your vehicle's air pump is to ensure that the emissions from your exhaust system contain as little harmful chemicals as possible to protect our environment. The air pump is also known as the smog pump because it pushes air into the exhaust system to make sure that any fuel that isn't burned is combusted. When the air pump doesn't work as it should, an excess amount of toxic fumes and pollutants will be released from your vehicle.  What many drivers don't know is that the air pump is actually electric, meaning that it works through a series of wires and fuses. This wiring and fuses is what gives it power, and often times the cause of air pump issue stems from faulty wiring or blown fuses. Additionally, you do need a working smog pump or air pump for your vehicle to pass emissions testing.  So, what is an air ... read more

How Often Should You Get New Tires?

As a vehicle owner, you may wonder how often you need to get a new set of tires. When it comes to the frequency, there is no set time frame in which you need to get tires, however paying attention to your vehicle's tires and understanding what healthy tires look like can help you make decisions when it comes to needing new tires.  When are new tires needed? New tires are needed when you notice that they are no longer in good condition. The tread of your tires is most important because this is what guarantee the traction that your tires need to properly control your vehicle in all types of weather conditions. If your tires are looking bald and especially worn out, it may be time for a new set. Plus, when you bring your vehicle into the experts here at Service First Automotive Centers for any type of service, we always take a look at your tires to evaluate their condition and let you know if we feel you may need new tires soon.  How can I protect my tires to need new sets ... read more

How to Prep your Car for Winter Travel

Whether you’re planning to travel by car this winter season or will just be driving to and from work each day, prepping your car for winter can help you avoid car troubles on the road and keep you safe while driving in winter weather conditions.  Before you hit the road for any type of extended travel, we recommend bringing your vehicle into our shop for a winter car inspection. This will give you peace of mind on the road knowing that an expert took a look at your vehicle and made sure that everything was in working order to stay reliable in the cold weather.  Here are some of the top ways in which you can prep your car for traveling this winter:  Get your car serviced if it is due and inspected for other issues Check your manufacturer’s website for any recalls Inspect your tires to verify they have good tread and are in overall good condition Install new windshield wipers and top-off wiper fluid Check all vital fluids  Be sure to test your vehi ... read more

Happy Thanksgiving from Service First Automotive Centers!

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Service First Automotive Centers! We hope that you had a wonderful holiday with friends and family. With all the holidays comes lots of travel, so if you are planning a road trip in the near future, we recommend that you check off some important travel measures before you hit the road.  Be sure to have your vehicle inspected by the experts here at Service First Automotive Centers before you hit the road. You never want to be caught in a situation where you are stuck without a working vehicle, so guaranteeing that your vehicle is ready for any road trip will keep your family safe and bring you peace of mind on the road.    Pack ample blankets and coats for the road to keep warm if you’re traveling in the cold this winter.    Have an emergency kit on hand in your trunk to help out in cases of emergencies. Some things to make sure you have with you include a spare tire, jack, wrench, flashlight, flares ... read more

Symptoms of Worn Out Brake Pads

Your vehicle’s brakes should always be in top working condition. If you ever notice a problem with your brakes, an inspection is recommended as soon as you can to avoid brake failure. One component of your vehicle’s brake system is the brake pads, which have the important job of helping the calipers make contact with the rotors, and therefore stopping or slowing down your vehicle.  The brake pads will eventually wear down over time due to friction, which is why they need to be replaced at certain intervals. If your vehicle’s brake pads need to be replaced, you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:  A squealing or screeching noise can indicate that the brake pads need to be replaced. This can signify that there is metal to metal contact happening with the brakes. A clicking noise can also mean that your brake pads need to be inspected. A clicking noise while braking is usually an indication that the brake pads are loose.  If you notice a ... read more

What are the Benefits of Premium Gasoline?

You're getting gas and look at your options. If you have a standard sedan, more than likely you're used to getting 87 octane gasoline. But, have you ever wondering if there is a benefit to premium gas, and what types of vehicles require it? First things first - if you're unsure about what type of gasoline is best for your vehicle, refer to your car's owner's manual. This manual will tell you the gas that is best for your car.  Fuel that has a higher octane such as 91 or 93 can stand up to high compression than 87 octane. Vehicle's that have engines with high compression ratios or turbocharges may require high octane fuel to get the best performance and fuel efficiency from their vehicles. However, most regular cars on the market today will work best with regular octane fuel.  If your vehicle manufacturer recommended regular fuel, getting premium fuel will not benefit your vehicle in any way. However, certain additives in gasoline can affect your vehi ... read more

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